Luke Schneider, the CEO of Silvercar, a company that is redefining the airport car rental experience for connected, technology-enabled travelers.
Innovate your business model. By limiting ourselves to one (awesome) vehicle type, and integrating our own mobile technology, we are able to deliver the industry’s most streamlined, seamless customer experience. Whether a customer is pressed for time, tired of never knowing what will be parked in the slot when they show up, or just wants a car that reflects their personality, we are able to deliver – every time. This design has also allowed Silvercar to expand at a blistering pace, as it minimizes complexity in our operations. We’ve grown to four locations in 5 months, and we’re on track to have seven by the end of the year, 15 by the end of 2014.
We got traction by starting with thought leaders – people with a history of innovation, visible public presence, and vast networks of like-minded individuals. Silvercar is as much a technology company as a car rental company. Sharing Silvercar with these innovators proved a vital first step, not only for attracting those critical early customers, but through their influence we were able to quickly increase the ranks of repeat users. On the heels of this quick start, we then did what anyone would do: we told everyone about it who would listen! Our story is unique and our solution, in our opinion, is the answer to deeply entrenched problems airport in car rental. We used our own networks, media relations, social media and various other tools to tell that problem-solution story, and it worked.
Like with most start ups, the biggest obstacle is traffic – bringing customers in. But unlike traditional players in the industry, Silvercar customers are enabled through their mobile devices. An entire customer base of mobile-enabled car renters from reservation, to vehicle access, to the return process. Imagine what that means for marketing, customer acquisition costs and repeat business.
The saying goes, “if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” Well after one too many terrible experiences at the rental counter, our team who helped to make Silvercar what it is took that idea to heart. We took what we envisioned for the ideal rental car and we made it happen.
We’ve learned to pick our partners carefully, starting with funding. Our company ...